At any given time in the United States, roughly 660,000 drivers are using their cellphones or manipulating some electronic device while driving. Texting and driving is a serious problem, and this Colorado company is trying to do something about it.
Derive Systems has been around for about 15 years, and they have offices located in Idaho, Florida, and Colorado. However, the Colorado team has spearheaded a new endeavor geared towards driver safety and is more specifically targeting teen drivers. They have developed a device that modifies software in the teen’s car.
Back in June of last year, Colorado lawmakers finally decided to make texting and driving illegal, and they raised the texting law fine up to $300. Unfortunately, texting and driving is still an issue among these teen driver in Colorado. The product designed by Derive Systems plans to modify the software of the car that the device is in, addressing the texting and driving issue, along with speeding and not wearing a seat belt.
“Derive VQ” is the name of the product, and it consists of a simple adapter that plugs into a port under the dashboard. It then syncs to the driver’s cell phone. The car will not even start until the software detects that the seat belt of the driver is securely fastened. When the vehicle is shifted into gear, the driver’s cell phone locks up so they have zero access to the screen, preventing them from texting and driving.
Streaming music and navigation will still work in the background while the phone is locked. Once the driver is on the road, the software can then regulate speed. Using GPS technology, the Derive VQ knows where the car is at all times, and it knows the speed limit of the specific road the car is on. It will not allow the driver to go above the mandated speed limit. The product also has an alert system that lets patents know if the teen tries to unplug the device, use their phone, or speed.
Chief Technology Officer for Derive, Marco Della Torre, said this technology is mostly for teen and their parents, even though anyone can benefit from this new software. “If you’re a teen it feels like parental control,” Della Torre explained. “For a parent it feels like safe driving for your teen. Ultimately, we want teens to be safe on our roads.”